Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has accused nuclear-armed India of playing with dangerous military concepts and assured the world that Pakistan would continue to exercise restraint and responsibility.
Referring to the tense situation in the webinar after last year’s Pulwama incident, he said that the misconception of establishing a new routine while staying below the limits of the nuclear dispute and the idea of punishing Pakistan was dangerous and unacceptable and a reflection of irresponsible behaviour of India.
Note that the webinar was organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) to commemorate Pakistan’s becoming a nuclear power in 1998.
The foreign minister’s remarks came amid mounting tensions between the two rival neighbours, with allegations of ceasefire violations and India’s provocations across the LOC adding to the tension.
The Foreign Minister said that the accession of Kashmir occupied by India has increased the instability in the region.
“Irresponsible statements and threats of a boycott by senior members of the BJP government, including on nuclear issues, have left no doubt as to how careless minds are working,” he said.
Shah Mehmood said that “aggressive intentions of big neighbours under a strong nationalist government” do not allow Pakistan to reduce its security.
Stressing on Islamabad’s desire for peace, he said that the celebration of Takbir Day reminds us of Pakistan’s struggle for peace and its commitment to defend its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.
The Foreign Minister further said that “credible minimum deterrence” would be the guiding principle of Pakistan’s nuclear conduct and reiterated Islamabad’s commitment to stay away from the arms race in the region.
He also said that Pakistan has expressed its commitment to peace and stability by proposing a period of Strategic Tolerance (SRR).
“Because of our desire for peace, no one should doubt our ability to defend ourselves effectively against any aggression,” he added.